At its Quarterly Board Meeting held earlier today, the Schools and Libraries Committee (SLC) made two recommendations to the FCC about the SLD’s administration of the E-rate program.
In one recommendation, the SLC is seeking authorization to deny Funding Year 2009 Priority Two requests at or below 69% due to a lack of available funding for the year. While the SLD does not yet know exactly at which discount percentage it will be able to fund Priority Two requests, it is certain that available funding will be depleted before reaching requests below 70%. Currently, the SLD has authorization to approve requests at or above 80% and deny those at or below 60%. The FCC generally approves USAC recommendations regarding the Priority Two discount threshold.
The second recommendation seeks authorization to terminate the “Eligible Products Database,” citing high maintenance costs and low usage. The program, which is still considered to be within the ‘pilot’ phase, was established in 2005 with the goal to help stakeholders better understand the eligibility of products within the E-rate program. The SLC also noted that the limited number of items included in the database and the indication that items are “conditionally eligible” has caused confusion with applicants and service providers.
Funds For Learning will continue to provide news regarding these recommendations as more information becomes available.